MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — One of the largest school districts in the state is having a hard time finding enough bus drivers to take care of all its bus routes.

Berkeley County Schools Executive Director of Transportation Eric Keesecker says that means some days, bus routes get canceled.

That leaves families in the district scrambling to get their students to school.  Students are encouraged to get assignments online and work from home if they can’t make it to school, and the absences are excused when it’s because of a bus route cancellation.  But it’s an especially painful set of circumstances in the school district that, like others in the state are in an uphill battle to keep kids attending school on a regular basis.  Berkeley County Schools has one of the state’s highest number of students, serving 19,722 this school year, according to a link the school system’s Website.

Each day, BCS posts changes in bus routes on its Transportation Dashboard.  On Wednesday, five high school bus routes were canceled for both the morning and afternoon runs.  Six elementary school bus routes were canceled.  Seven other routes  were being covered by other drivers.

Keesecker says unlike a few years ago, bus drivers who qualify to drive no longer have to work their way up from substitute status to a full time route:

Because of a proliferation of manufacturing and warehouse job opportunities in the Eastern Panhandle, Berkeley County Schools has to compete for qualified employees.

Berkeley County Schools is hosting a Recruitment Day October 28th. Potential bus drivers will be encouraged to test drive a bus and apply on the spot.

The Recruitment Day is set for Saturday, October 28th from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at the Berkeley County Schools Bus Garage, 88 Harlan Springs Road Martinsburg, WV 25403

An announcement from the school system says attending the event is a first step to becoming an official CDL driver with a passenger endorsement to transport the students of Berkeley County Schools.

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have 3 years or more of driving experience in a normal vehicle.

Applicants must bring a valid driver’s license to the event in order to test drive a school bus.

Applicants must bring proof of a high school diploma or GED.

Participants will have the opportunity to drive a school bus around our parking lot, the day the event with the assistance of our certified bus driver training team.

Administrative staff and trainers will assist participants with officially applying for a bus driver position during the event.

Administrative staff and trainers will assist applicants in arranging appointments for required pre-employment visits to the DMV, background checks, and Dr. Chambers office for drug-screening.

More information and a link to register can be found on the Berkeley County Schools Website.

Light snacks and drinks will be provided.